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Wednesday, January 15, 2014 

Chief rabbinate agrees to recognize credentials of rabbi Avi Weiss

A recent controversy over their refusal to recognize his conversion steps because he's a modern Orthodox rabbi who gives special ordinations to women has been settled for now:
The Chief Rabbinate of Israel said it will accept letters from Rabbi Avi Weiss confirming the Judaism of those who wish to wed in the country.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Weiss’ attorney in Israel, Assaf Benmelech, the Chief Rabbinate affirmed its position on the liberal Orthodox rabbi from New York. Benmelech also is a board member of the religious pluralism organization Ne’emanei Torah v’Avoda, which worked with the Chief Rabbinate to reach an agreement.

In October, the Chief Rabbinate rejected a letter from Weiss vouching for immigrants who wanted to marry in Israel pending an investigation into his adherence to traditional Jewish law. The move sparked widespread outrage that Weiss, a longtime synagogue leader in New York who had vouched for the Jewishness of many Israeli immigrants in the past, was suddenly having his reliability called into question.
The Jerusalem Post has more:
The Jerusalem Post understands that in recent days Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett became personally involved in the issue and spoke to the relevant parties to help bring about the resolution. [...]

Weiss is a Modern Orthodox rabbi who leads and Orthodox congregation. Some of his activities have aroused controversy in the Orthodox world however, particularly his establishment of a seminary for women which ordains women as rabbis.
I thought female rabbis are called "rebbetzins", and there have been movements that ordain such a position, even in Orthodoxy. So what's their beef? It can be perfect for women who need a mother/big sister figure to look up to. Especially if the rebbetzin in question believes in the value of judging character.

I'm glad this was dealt with, and I'll feel better when these so-called chief rabbis are disciplined more convincingly.

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